CBK Cookies was one of my first jobs after Culinary School back in the 90’s where I learn how to make different types of cookies: drop, slice and bake, shape, and hand decorated cookies. Cbk Cookie shop is a little quaint store on the Upper East Side here in NYC, where patrons would dine, have a cup of coffee or milk as they enjoyed selection of cookies, cupcakes, and candies. When you sat in the window your eyes would notice all the whimsical cookie jars from around the world, if you chose to purchase one of the jars you would get 2 lbs. of cookies for free. As I was making these cookies it brought back so many memories making and eating them.
While many of us will be enjoying our chocolate fix this holiday, these are the official Valentine’s cookies. Not only are these heart shape butter cookies gorgeous, they have a nutty crunch, sandwich together with a deep red raspberry jam, and dusted with a snowy white confectioners’ sugar, they are a dream come true. These cookies are also great for a wedding dessert buffet.
yield: 3 dozen
1 1/4 cup whole hazelnuts or almonds 1 t. baking powder
1 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temp. 1 t. ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar 1/4 t. salt
2 eggs 1 t. lemon zest
1 t. vanilla confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
2 cups flour 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Toast nuts until the skins darken and begin to split, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean dish towel, and vigorously rub to remove the skins, discard skins. Place nuts in a food processor; pulse until medium fine.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium high-speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
3. In a mixing bowl combined flour, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and zest. Add to butter mixture, beat continually about 1 minute. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
4. Dust the work surface with flour, and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 inch heart shape cookie cutter, cut out seventy-two hearts. To make tops of the cookie, use a 1-inch heart shape cookie cutter to cut out the centers from thirty-six of the hearts.
5. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
6. Lightly sift confectioners’ sugar over cookie tops. With a piping bag using tip #8 or #10 with raspberry jam, add 1 T. on each bottom half and sandwich both halves together. Store tops without sugar, in an air tight container for up to 1 week.